I keep thinking of subjects for these increasingly sparse blog entries and then deciding that no, that’s too big a subject – I’ll save it and write something longer and more in depth. Maybe I’ll try an essay. Which is not to say I don’t put effort into these posts. I do, but normally all that effort happens over the course of a couple of hours at most. I splurge words on whatever springs to mind, and edit and post soon afterwards. There’s a minimal amount of research involved, but I have, usually, had something to say.
I started this blog partly to get into the habit of writing weekly. Then it became about recording progress and connecting with the tri community when I was doing a lot of training. When the training faltered because my heart went a bit loopy, it helped to keep me sane, making me take a step back and think objectively about the situation. The focus in the past year or so has been more on writing, which is interesting to me but probably not some of my old readers. And the very fact that my focus has been on writing means that the blog did its job – it got me writing regularly, and I don’t need it to force me to the keyboard anymore.
So I’m finding it more difficult to find things to write about here. Because I’ve never had a particular subject, the net’s a bit wide for choice and it’s very easy for it to become a boring diary type thing. It’s never had a core subject. I don’t have the sort of aspirational/inspirational life that draws in readers to look at colourful pictures of my amazing outfits (I think my style could be safely described as ‘comfortable’) and talk about amazing recipes and socialising (she says, writing from bed on a Sunday afternoon, with half a bowl of ice-cream next to her and Pretty Little Liars rattling on in the background).
I don’t currently go to lots of events, in part because I’m still working on the regular transport side of things.* It feels more often than not that I’m promoting my writing elsewhere, here, or other projects that I work on, and I honestly don’t know how interesting that is for people. I don’t write about work because, well, it’s my job, even though at the moment that job involves a massive and exciting writing community project.
Actually writing about writing is … odd. It’s the slowest fastest past-time in the world. It takes up so much of the week, but there’s not much to show for it 99% of the time. I’ve referred a few times to a ‘secret’ project which, I think, is probably at a stage now where it doesn’t need to be so secret. Me and a couple of writer friends are putting together an experimental anthology. 12 writers, 12 stories, all by the same title. It’s a learning curve, putting it all together, but the stories exist now and in a couple of months we will hopefully have an ebook to show for it. But there aren’t any updates I can really give until we have something, like a cover, a finished collection.
I’m submitting stories and poems and writing as much as I can, and other life things tick on (remember all that stuff in February, about how we’d be moving and then moving? That.) but I can’t wax lyrical about everything here, because more often than not when I pick up my computer to write a blog post, I am itching to open a story file, or a poem, or one of the three (!) longer projects that I’m also chipping away at. This blog has turned into a responsibility in my head to a point that it was never meant to become.
There are nearly 200 of you following this blog these days. I don’t know how many of you actually read it, mind, but I really appreciate those of you that do, and I have to believe that you like reading it even though it is, largely, witterings.
But the time of weekly updates is over, or even guaranteed monthly. I think it’s time to admit that I’ll only be writing here when I really have a subject to cover – something to think on, or report, or say. Maybe I’ll come back and write about my hermiting time in Scotland, when it’s over. Maybe about a poetry event, or when the anthology project has more news. Or just a link to something that I’ve worked on that’s available to access. But I won’t be dropping in to mention that I walked the dog or complain that I’m tired anymore. I won’t be adding words for the sake of wordcount. I’m going to try and put that energy towards actually finishing one of the longer projects.
Please do drop back occasionally. I’m not shutting this place down – just taking a step back for a while.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with, of course, a brief update and a link to summat.
I’m waiting on a lot of responses (I’ve had a few rejections from Popshots, Lighthouse and Confingo [who encouragingly called the piece they rejected ‘vivid and atmospheric’] in the past couple of weeks) from various mags at the moment. I’m trying to build a poetry pamphlet after encouraging feedback from my old uni tutor. I entered the Word Factory Modern Fables competition with a story that is, frankly, not much of a fable and that I’m having to talk myself out of going back to read now that it’s sent in in case I have brutally embarrassed myself (I’d already paid the entry fee, or I may not have sent it at all). I also sent in my first Visual Verse piece in a while in response to their August picture, which they kindly called their ‘piece of the day’. You can read that here: http://visualverse.org/submissions/sand-song/ It seems oddly appropriate, an unintentional explanation of why I blog, and will, of course, be back.
*Today my driving instructor told me I am almost ready to book my test. After 15 years of struggling with driving, hearing that – especially after a lesson in which I ‘failed’ at least four times – and hitting a point where I don’t feel sick before lessons is huge.
** Just realised this is the second time I’ve used this title. If ever there was a sign it’s time to take a break…